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ES2002 Business Communication. Letter Writing: Style and Tone. Style and Tone. Style – words and sentences a writer chooses to produce a desired response in readers Tone – the unwritten or unspoken message; the message “between the lines”.

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es2002 business communication

ES2002 Business Communication

Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide2

Style and Tone

  • Style – words and sentences a writer chooses to produce a desired response in readers
  • Tone – the unwritten or unspoken message; the message “between the lines”

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide3

“The parking lot is sparsely used at 8 a.m.; likewise at 5 p.m. As managers – you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are doing; or YOU do not CARE. … You have a problem and you will fix it or I will replace you. … What you are doing, as managers, with this company makes me SICK.”

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide4

The 4 Ps

  • Be polite
  • Be positive
  • Be personal
  • Be professional

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide5

Be Polite

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide6

Be Polite

  • Write in a style that:
    • Reflects appropriate reader-writer relationship
    • Doesn’t convey sense of superiority/anger/condescension
    • Doesn’t embarrass reader

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide7

Reflect appropriate reader-writer relationship

(a) With effect from 14 July, I suggest your goods be delivered at 7.00 am sharp instead of the usual 6.30 am. I seek your cooperation in this respect.

(b) My suggestion is that we deliver your goods promptly at 7.00 am instead of the usual 6.30 am. I hope this arrangement is convenient for you.

Reflect appropriate reader-writer relationship

Be Polite

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide8

Avoid sounding superior, angry, condescending

1(a) How do you expect us to send you the forms you requested if you carelessly omittedthe identifying numbers.

(b) If you will send us the form numbers, we will be glad to send you all the papers you requested.

Avoid sounding superior, angry, condescending

Be Polite

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide9

Avoid sounding superior, angry, condescending

2 (a) Although money for your grant is

unavailable this semester, we hope you

will reapply next semester.

Avoid sounding superior, angry, condescending

(b) We are sure you recognise the fact that

we cannot grant everyone’s request for a

grant.

Be Polite

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide10

Don’t embarrass reader

Don’t embarrass reader

(a) As you did not respond within ten days, it should be clear to you that you did not qualify for the free gift.

(b) You probably did not notice that your order was mailed after our special gift order had expired.

Be Polite

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide11

Be Positive

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide12

Be Positive

  • Use positive words/phrases
  • Stress what can be done

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide13

Use positive words

and phrases

Use positive words and phrases

(a) There are no more places for the May 15 seminar and there will be no similar seminar organised until October.

(b) Due to its popularity, all places for the May 15 seminar have been filled. A similar seminar will be organised in October and we will be happy to reserve a place for you, if you like.

Be Positive

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide14

Stress what can be done

Stress what can be done

(a) The problem will be resolved if you connect the wires according to the instructions given.

Be Positive

(b) The problem would not have happened if you had connected the wires properly.

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide15

Which is better?

(1) You will have to wait for Mr Suppiah to handle your complaint.

(2) As soon as Mr Suppiah returns, he will answer your enquiry.

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide16

Be Personal

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide17

Be Personal

  • Adopt a “you” attitude
  • Use personal pronouns
  • Avoid pompous language / attitude

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide18

Definition of “you” attitude

“… a style of writing that looks at things

from the reader’s perspective and expresses

genuine consideration for the reader”

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide19

Adopt a “you” attitude

Adopt a “you” attitude

(a) We are happy to announce that we have increased the size of our store building.

So?

(b) Now you will find a wider choice of merchandise in the greatly enlarged building.

Be Personal

Oh great!

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide20
Instead of

We call to your attention …

I am sending the enclosed check …

Use

You will be interested to know …

You will be happy to receive …

Adopt a “you” attitude

Adopt a “you” attitude

Be Personal

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide21

Use personal pronouns

Use personal pronouns

(a) If there should be any questions concerning the matter, please call the number listed on the letterhead above.

(b) We look forward to working with you. Meantime, if there is anything further that we can do for you, please let us know.

Be Personal

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide22

Which is better?

Use personal pronouns

(1) The full payment of the housing loan is due.

(2) You must pay the full amount of your loan immediately.

Be Personal

There are instances when the omission of personal

pronouns is appropriate.

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide23

Avoid pompous words/phrases

Avoid pompous words/phrases

1(a) I, as a frequent borrower, wish to inform you that I am pleased with the improvement in quality of the National Library over the years.

(b)As a regular user of the National Library, I would like to express my appreciation for the improvements made in the last 10 years.

Be Personal

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide24

Avoid pompous words/phrases

Avoid pompous words/phrases

2(a) I want to cogitate further on the matter

before giving a definitive answer.

(b) I want to think about the matter a little

more before giving a final answer.

Be Personal

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide25

Be Professional

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide26

Be Professional

  • Generalise experiences; simplify examples
  • Be objective
  • Maintain dignity
  • Be sincere

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide27

Generalise experiences;

simplify examples

Generalise experiences; simplify examples

(a) For example, I once waited 40 minutes for a service 197 bus because two previous buses passed without stopping.

(b) There was one time where I spent nearly 40 minutes waiting for two buses on Service 197 which drove past without stopping. And then there was another time when …

Be Professional

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide28

Be objective

Be objective

(a) On top of that, the bus drivers of such on-coming buses would seize the opportunity to steer right and bypass the bus stop.

Be Professional

(b) Furthermore, the bus drivers who tailgate other buses also tend to bypass the bus stop.

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide29

Maintain dignity

Maintain dignity

(a) As a valued customer, you can rest assured that we will take every precaution to ensure that you get the best service in the future.

Be Professional

(b) Since you are a valuable customer, we hope you will give us another chance to prove that we can do a good job.

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone

slide30

Be sincere

Be sincere

  • (a) Your phenomenal contribution to our understanding of tax laws is remarkable.
  • (b) We would like to thank you for helping us gain a better understanding of tax laws.

Be Professional

ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Style and Tone